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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

ROARIE, adj., n. Also -y, rorie, -y. [′ro:re]

I. adj. 1. Loud, noisy, roaring (I.Sc., Ags., Kcb. 1968). Combs. roarie-buckie, see Rair, v., 8.; roarie bummler, a white cloud formed high in the sky on a windy day, which appears to roar, a bank of storm cloud (Abd. 1968).Abd. 1928 N. Shepherd Quarry Wood xiv.:
“See to that roariebummlers”. Glittering bergs of cloud knocked against the south-east horizon.
Gsw. 1935 A. McArthur & H. K. Long No Mean City vii.:
It's a fine quiet close this. . . . Ours is more rory!
Gsw. 1947 H. W. Pryde 1st Bk. McFlannels i.:
“I don't see any flames coming out the chimney.” “It was making an awful roary noise when I left anyway”.

2. Drunk (Sh., Per., Gsw. 1968). Cf. roarin-fou s.v. Fou, adj., 3.Mry. 1865 W. H. L. Tester Poems 141:
Did he dee in a hurry? D'ye think was he rory?
Per. 1904 E.D.D.:
Was James a wee rory last nicht?

3. Of colours: bright, showy, eye-catching (Lth. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XI. 153), gen. now in pejorative sense: glaring, garish, loud. Gen.(exc. ne.)Sc. Cf. Eng. dial. rory-tory, id.Edb. 1866 J. Smith Merry Bridal 9:
Wi' a' her falderals sae gay, An' rory ribbons fleein'.
Clc. 1882 J. Walker Poems 113:
Wi' their gudewives deck'd out in rory dresses.
Lnk. 1895 W. Fraser Whaups vii.:
“Ye maun get a braw red waistcoat wi' brass buttons on't”. “Wad that no be ower roary, dae ye no think?”.
Ork. 1904 W. T. Dennison Sketches 6:
De sea a' glisteran' rory wi' bleud i' the sunsheen.
Gsw. 1915 Neil Munro Erchie & Jimmy Swan (1993) 411:
I've got suits frae Elshiner I could never sell onywhere at a third o' what they cost me; they were that roary, and that defiant o' every law o' the male anatomy.
Fif.10 1935:
I'm no seekin' ony o' your rorie colours — gie me a plain reid an' yalla.
wm.Sc. 1948 Scots Mag. (June) 213:
The elastic-sided boots, the dickey, the cuffs, the rory tartan tie.
Ags. 1953 Forfar Dispatch (31 Dec.):
Sarah Amelia and me bocht a remnant o claith — he likes roary colours.
wm.Sc. 1991 Liz Lochhead Bagpipe Muzak 36:
I wanted tartan yes but no too roary.
State I was in everything had to be just so.
Sc. 1994 Herald 31 Mar 8:
The jewel colours will always be effective for winter weddings, although they are subdued in line with current trends. For instance deep reds are more wine toned and greens are soft and deep rather than roary emeralds.
wm.Sc. 1995 Alan Warner Morvern Callar 68:
His complexion was right roary from the bolting of nips.
Edb. 2003:
That dress is too roary for a wumman o her age.

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"Roarie adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Apr 2024 <>



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